BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan.22
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The memorandum of understanding on joint development of Dostlug field this will open a new chapter in Azerbaijani-Turkmen cooperation in the Caspian Sea, the US expert on Central Asia Bruce Pannier told Trend.
“That probably would benefit Turkmenistan, because that country is hampered by lack of energy export routes and cooperation with Azerbaijan in developing Dostlug not only adds to Turkmenistan’s oil production but also strengthens relations between the two countries and Turkmenistan would welcome a chance to ship more oil through Azerbaijan to markets further west and possibly one day Turkmen gas to the same markets via pipelines in Azerbaijan,” he explained.
Pannier pointed out that Azerbaijan obviously has a new source of oil, and oil revenue, and if the Dostlug field has similar reserves to those in the nearby Chirag and Azeri fields, it should mark a significant increase in the amount of oil Azerbaijan is able to sell.
“Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are located in advantageous spots for East-West trade and if they could expand the shipping routes between the two countries across the Caspian Sea, they could earn a good deal of money as transit countries for goods going between China and Europe.
Working on a joint project such as Dostlug provides a new pillar of cooperation and that can be expanded into other areas, such as providing a transit route for East-West trade that does not go through Russia.
It reinforces what is already true to a large extent. Azerbaijan is a transit hub. There is the new port at Alat, maritime trade is expanding, there are plans to expand railway traffic both east-west and north-south, pipelines run from the Azerbaijani shore to fields in the Caspian and in the opposite direction through the Caucasus to Turkey and Europe, but with all this happening, Turkmenistan continues to be a route that has been little developed in Azerbaijan’s trade-export network,” he concluded.
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